Vietnamese teenage girl sets herself on fire in social media dare gone wrong

By VnExpress   October 12, 2016 | 11:35 am GMT+7
Vietnamese teenage girl sets herself on fire in social media dare gone wrong
A still image from the video clip that shows a Vietnamese teenage girl who tried to set her school on fire but ended up getting burned herself as part of the disturbing internet challenge dubbed “Vietnamese say, Vietnamese do”.

The girl had promised to burn a school down if she could get 1,000 'likes' on Facebook.

A Vietnamese teenage girl has tried to set her school on fire but ended up getting burned herself as part of the disturbing internet challenge dubbed “Vietnamese say, Vietnamese do”.

The girl suffered minor burns to her legs after trying but failing to set a local secondary school on fire.

The whole incident was recorded on camera, and showed the girl pouring about half a liter of petrol in front of the medical room at the school. Then, being cheered on by friends who were present to witness the incident and helped with the recording, she lit a match to set it alight. The teenager was later reportedly taken to hospital with minor burns.

With the clip going viral, there is a growing concern about online crazes where citizens of the internet find all kinds of ways to challenge each other to do dangerous things. Vietnam currently has around 35 million Facebook users.

In a Facebook post, the girl promised to set the school on fire if she could get 1,000 likes on the social media platform. She got more than 1,000 in no time.

Tran Thi Thu Van, a psychiatrist in Ho Chi Minh City, said that teenagers are willing to take great risks to gain notoriety among their peers.

She explained that when teenagers dare one another to do something, no matter how dangerous it might be, they are highly likely to take the dare simply to boost their egos.

Such incidents, part of troubling trend for online kudos, have been on an alarming rise with clips of people doing all kinds of dangerous things going viral.

Unlike the ALS ice bucket challenge where people get to have some fun without damaging anything, these new internet fads have driven people into life-threatening situations while someone records the entire event then posts on Facebook for likes and shares.

Teenagers are not the only culprits when it comes to dangerous social media crazes.

A 6-second video clip which went viral last month shows a man, believed to be 24 years old, pour gasoline on himself before setting his body on fire on a street in Ho Chi Minh City,

The reason behind the act would disturb many: He promised to do so in exchange for 40,000 likes on Facebook.

In a post that is now viral, the man said he would set himself alight using gasoline before jumping off a bridge when he got enough likes.

“I’m going to keep my promise... Please share if you want to see the fun,” he wrote.

He got 86,000 likes within 23 hours. Hundreds of people turned up at the bridge in the city center to witness the act. 

People are increasingly dependent on social media networks, said psychiatrist Van.

She said an addict spends more than five hours per day on their social media accounts, and smartphone users are even worse since they can easily check their pages several times a day.

Social networking is not only limited to obsessive teenagers; a growing number of adults are becoming compulsive social media checkers.

Challenges on social media sites are becoming increasingly dangerous, and the act of setting oneself on fire might yet be the most dangerous viral internet trend.

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